If you’ve spent any time praying in your life, you’ve probably ended your prayers with the phrase, “In Jesus’ name.” Most of us say this out of habit without really thinking about what that means or why we close our prayers that way. The most common reason we end prayers in Jesus’ name is because He told us to pray in His authority (John 14:12–14). But ending prayers with the name of Jesus is also appropriate for another reason—since He is our ultimate example of what real prayer looks like, it’s only fitting that a prayer that stems from His example should end in His name.
Over the next 28 days, we’re going on a journey together into prayer. We’ll explore its many dynamics: what the Bible says about it, why we so desperately need it, how we can use it, how it brings us closer to the Father and many other principles. Each day begins with a passage of scripture, followed by an inspiring devotional thought and ends with practical tips and a prayer to help you activate the devotional’s subject in your own prayer life.
As you go through this devotional, our prayer is that you’ll grow to understand that prayer is one of the most crucial elements to walking in an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. We have a great adventure ahead of us, and we pray you’ll become closer to God than you ever thought possible as you discover how to live a powerful life of prayer.
—In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 1 | First Things First
Prayer can be confusing for many people. What is it, really? Is it merely asking God to bless your food before you eat? Is it a list of requests you bring to God as you kneel next to your bed at night? A memorized set of phrases? Or is it something more?
Prayer is definitely a big concept, and until we get to heaven, we won’t fully understand everything about it. However, we can discover its essential purpose by looking to the Scriptures, which paints a true picture of prayer. From Genesis to Revelation, we see God establishing His relationship with us through prayer. Before everything else, God wants us to come to Him with our thoughts, our feelings, our worries and our needs.
In 1 Timothy, Paul wrote to Timothy, the pastor of the church at Ephesus, and told him that before he did anything else, he needed to pray. Timothy was like a son to Paul, and Paul wanted him to understand that prayer forms the foundation of the Christian life. He encouraged Timothy to live a life of prayer and then teach others how to do the same. As a believer, the same instructions apply to you, because the true source of your strength and of the Church as a whole lies in a lifestyle of prayer.
The best example of what a lifestyle of prayer looks like can be seen in the life of Jesus. Many people often think of prayer in terms of having a set quiet time in the morning with God. And while that can be a part of it, it’s not the whole picture. A look through the Gospels shows us that Jesus’ prayers were incredibly dynamic, honest and authentic—from the simple structure of the Lord’s Prayer to His heartbroken plea in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus showed us that at its core, prayer is simply all about relationship with our heavenly Father. And through this relationship, God accomplished His perfect will in Jesus’ life.
In the same way, God’s will is accomplished in our lives through prayer. From the beginning, God’s desire has been for us to walk in the same kind of relationship with Him as Jesus did each and every day. He loves us more than we could ever imagine, and He cares enough to listen and respond to our prayers.
You have the opportunity to live in conversation with Him—sharing your heart with Him and listening to His heart. Right here, right now, you can live in the greatest relationship imaginable—a relationship with God! Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart so you can start living out the same kind of dynamic, vibrant relationship with Him as Jesus modeled.
You’ll never be able to put God first in areas of your life, if you don’t put prayer first. The power to put God first comes from prayer.
~ Robert Morris
Father, thank You for taking me on this journey as I learn more about the power and value of prayer. I want to get to know You more and learn more about You. Show me how to be open with You and believe You care about everything that concerns me. Help me to prepare my heart to hear Your voice. Thank You for drawing me closer to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Begin each day in prayer, asking God to prepare your heart and mind as you spend time learning more about prayer and the heart of the Father.
- Share your heart with God and let Him share His heart with you. God wants a close relationship with you and prayer is your way of sharing your heart with Him and letting Him share His heart with you.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1–2 (NLT)